This year marks the 20th anniversary of the internet in Mongolia. On January 17, 1996, Datacom LLC launched an online internet service and started providing full service for accessing, using, or participating in the internet. At that time, Magicnet network of Datacom was the only Internet service provider (ISP) and had only 500 users. Currently, 59 entities are operating as ISPs in Mongolia and the number of internet users has reached to 2.1 million.
In honor of the anniversary, Datacom LLC organized an open door event of information technology and communications on January 14 in cooperation with the Information, Communications Technology, and the Post Authority of Mongolia. Also, this year was announced to be the year of ‘Information Security and Encouraging Healthy Use of the Internet.
The event introduced the first-ever website of Mongolia which was developed by Suren Badral, former Ambassador of Mongolia to the USA. “Datacom Company worked very hard to bring the internet to Mongolia. The founding of internet in Mongolia has enormously contributed to the development of technology and information in Mongolia” he said during the interview for news.mn website.
On how he became creator of the first Mongolian content on the internet, Mr. S.Badral recollects that “I went to the USA to study at the University of Hawaii in 1993 without any knowledge of the internet or even a computer. Fortunately, I had an opportunity to become familiar with computers and the internet at the internationally famous East-West Center in the first year of my studies and started enjoying the benefits of the internet. So I decided to post information about Mongolia on the internet because there was almost nothing about Mongolia online. Throughout the summer and fall of 1994, I started learning web developing and bought a personal computer, printer and scanner as well as textbook and had some additional information and news materials brought from Mongolia as I did not have enough data. Then, the first website I created was published on the internet in November, 1994”.
At that time, the University of Hawaii just started providing web hosting services and graduate students were allowed to have one or two pages for free. If students want additional space, they had to pay. Therefore, he approached the Mongolian Society at Indiana University, which offered larger hosting. Also, he thought that Mongolists and scholars of Mongolia working at the Society would take an interest in the website, which contained insightful information about Mongolia. Subsequently, his website was published free of charge and attracted a good amount of traffic.
Furthermore, his website became one of the best web designs in the world for several years since 1995 and was entitled to post the logo "One of 5 percent of best web designs" on it. Also, the ‘Mongolian Law Library’ segment of his website, which includes more than 20 laws and regulations of Mongolia, was registered in the official source of information by the Library of Congress.
Although the website is no longer in use, the website had been popular among people, who were interested in Mongolia and provided much information for them when there was a lack of information about the country.
Photo courtesy of Eric Bridiers
The article is featured in the Mongol Messenger's issue for January 22, 2016, No.3-4.